Parking once again took center stage at Mineola’s Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday when a resident approached the board with complaints about congestion in the village.
Joseph Grasso moved to Mineola from Brooklyn 20 years ago and said he is worried about how commercialized the village is becoming.
“We are not really a small village anymore. I am sure people can attest to that, but we still live here,” he said.
Grasso lives on a street that has 90-minute parking where employees of NYU Winthrop Hospital and visitors often park their cars.
When he notifies the village of parking offenses, he said someone will come and take care of it but there is a lack of consistent enforcement.
He asked the board, “How do we enforce the hospital people because they are mainly the offenders.”
Mayor Scott Strauss said that the village has one parking enforcement officer who works in the afternoons, but there are open positions that the village is looking to fill.
Two parking garages in the village are expected to be erected in 18 months as part of the LIRR third track project.
Both garages will be open to anyone, which the board hopes will help to alleviate parking congestion on village roads.
The Harrison Avenue parking garage is expected to have 446 parking spaces.
The plans for the 2nd Street parking garage are still being configured.
Deputy Mayor Paul Pereira said the board has been told that “essentially every Winthrop employee is accounted for in some parking somewhere on the hospital’s campus.”
He said it is just a matter of the employees parking in their designated parking spot when it may be closer to park on a neighborhood street.
There is no way for the village or the hospital to police where hospital employees park, Pereira said.
Grasso said that parking on the south side of 1st Street is affecting the width of the road, and that it is difficult for trucks to drive eastbound without crossing over the double yellow line.
The width of the road may need to be reconfigured, Grasso said.
Strauss said that 1st Street is a county road and he fears that if officials brought up the issue with Nassau County, they may suggest removing the parking entirely, which would create more challenges.
When instituting new parking regulations on streets, all we are doing is moving the parking to another neighborhood, he said.
“We have to be careful what we wish for,” he said.
In his report, Strauss raised his concerns over the election results in state Senate District 7.
“In essence, we fired someone who not only had her office here and attended virtually every event that took place in our community but has given us hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants,” he said, “only to hire somebody who has not once come to Mineola during her campaign.”
He said that the board will work with Sen.-elect Anna Kaplan (D-Great Neck), who defeated the incumbent, Elaine Phillips (R-Flower Hill), and hopes that she will “continue to help us as much as, if not more than Senator Phillips did.”
Pereira added that they hope to see Kaplan soon and “hopefully she will represent us because she has some very big shoes to fill with the last couple of senators that we have had representing the 7th District.”
Members of the board expressed their gratitude to Phillips for her service and aid to the village during her tenure.